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On-point D.C. boutique Redeem introduced me to the world of Le Specs, an Australian brand that cranks out the coolest sunglasses for less than $100 each. They feel sturdy, they're at a price point that won't make me terrified to take them out of the house, and Aussies know a thing or two about UV protection.
The toughest part is picking out which ones to take home: I started with basic black and now I'm eyeing another pair that will match absolutely every outfit ever, the clear-framed Noddy glasses. I love the retro shape, the smoky lenses, and the fact that clear is the ultimate neutral.
Is it just me, or is the African safari adventure this winter's It vacation? Seriously, if I have to look at another iPad photo gallery of ostriches and hippos and champagne in hot air balloons I might lose it (or at least betray the fact that I'm so, so, so jealous). It's fine, though. I'll just buy the Sebra tee from Gant Rugger. Navy blue and playfully splattered with an all-over print of adorable rust-colored zebras, it's totally just like zebra-spotting in Michael Kors from a cream-colored Land Rover. But, you know, ever so slightly cheaper.
Striped taper candles, $24 at LEIF
Racked editorial director Izzy Grinspan: You know the Pinterest apartment of our collective dreams? The one with all the sunshine and the succulents and the tasteful pops of neon? That apartment, it turns out, could be furnished entirely with home goods from Brooklyn e-commerce site LEIF. I love pretty much all of it, but the candles above stand out for me because they're so dang cheerful. For $24, you get a pair of made-in-the-US tapers in colors that forecast sunny days ahead. Even the color names sound like warmer weather: flamingo, seafoam, and daffodil are three of the options.
Garnier Fructis HairCare Pure Clean Fortifying Shampoo, $4.79 at Amazon
Racked NY associate editor Laura Gurfein: For years, I was dedicated to a certain shampoo that shall remain unnamed—but then it turned evil on me. For some reason, the more I washed my hair, the more it looked like I hadn't washed my hair. My roots looked greasier than a Famous Ray's pizza, and I panicked. Thinking it had something to do with using a moisturizing formula for dry hair, I went hunting for something else.
Thank goodness Garnier Fructis had just come out with their Pure Clean line for "normal hair." The 94% biodegradable formula is super lightweight and is free of silicone, paraben, or dyes. With each wash, my hair comes out soft, clean, and, most importantly, not at all greasy.
Photo via Von Z
Racked Chicago editor Jenny Berg: Jenna Zielbauer is the owner of Chicago's Von Z boutique and the designer of Cotton Candy Couture. She also writes a blog that consistently showcases cool local style, even in the middle of this blisteringly cold Chicago winter. Her new line of statement tees ($46-$52) are butter-soft reminders of the enviable, carefree lifestyle embodied by her site. With sayings such as "On a Champagne Diet" and "When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Beyoncé," they're pretty much billboards for all the important things in life.
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